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Valeant Bid for Allergan Would be Biggest Canada Deal

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.’s $44.4 billion bid to buy Botox maker Allergan Inc. would mark the biggest takeover in Canadian history.

The proposed acquisition by Laval, Quebec-based Valeant would surpass Vivendi SA’s $43.9 billion purchase of spirits maker Seagram Co. in 2000, and Rio Tinto Group’s $42.9 billion acquisition of Alcan Inc. in 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Transactions are announced values and include debt.

Valeant yesterday offered Allergan investors $48.30 in cash and 0.83 of a share for each Allergan share they own. Pershing Square Capital Management LP, the fund run by Bill Ackman and Allergan’s largest shareholder with a 9.7 percent stake, supports the offer, Valeant said.

“It’s certainly a bold move, which in my mind is attributable to increased confidence by management to do a transaction like this,” said John Emanoilidis, co-head of the mergers practice at Torys LLP law firm in Toronto. “It demonstrates that there’s a real appetite for companies to do transformational transactions and I’m hopeful that this will be the beginning of a resurgence in M&A.”

Valeant Chief Executive Officer Mike Pearson has been shifting his emphasis from generic drugs and expanding in opthalmology, dermatology and dentistry, most recently with its $8.7 billion takeover of Bausch & Lomb last year. Pearson, who became CEO in 2008, has spent at least $19 billion buying more than 35 companies as part of Valeant’s goal to join the ranks of the world’s five largest drugmakers.

Barclays Plc and Royal Bank of Canada’s RBC Capital Markets unit are advising Valeant on the transaction, as well as providing $15.5 billion of debt financing.

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